For problem gamblers
Has gambling become a problem for you?
Firstly, well done for recognising that your gambling behaviour may be causing you problems. Often, when people think about problem gambling, they think about the loss of money and debt, but problem gambling can negatively affect many aspects of your life:
- Your relationships with friends and family
- Your health
- Your work
- Your education
- The amount of time you have available to do other things
If you recognise that gambling is affecting any of these areas of your life, you are not alone and GamCare can help you.
How do I cope with the impacts from gambling?
You may start to feel overwhelmed. It’s okay. You don’t have to do everything at once. For now just start to prioritise.
What’s most urgent to you right now?
I want to talk to someone about my gambling
- Helpline – Talk to an adviser on the phone.
- Netline – Talk to an adviser online
- GamCare Counselling – Set up regular ongoing sessions with a GamCare Counsellor
I want to limit my access to gambling
- Self exclusion – Find out how you can bar yourself from betting shops, casinos, arcades and online gambling companies
- Blocking software – Find out how you can set up your computer to stop you accessing gambling websites.
- Changing your behaviour – Find out how you can manage the urge to gamble and make changes to your life to break out of old patterns and routines
I am in debt or need to sort out my money
- Financial management – Find out how you can get out of debt and organise your finances
I’m not sure whether my gambling is a problem
- Self-assessment tool- Use our self-assessment tool to find out how much gambling is impacting your life.
What help is available?
You don’t need to go through this alone. There are lots of ways to access help from GamCare and other agencies.
National Gambling Helpline
You can call our Freephone helpline on 0808 8020 133 or use our online Netline service to talk to a GamCare adviser who is trained to listen and help people affected by problem gambling. The Adviser will listen to you carefully and encourage you to talk about your concerns. Sometimes just telling someone can be a relief, and it is an important first step towards dealing with the problem.
We also have an online forum where you can share your thoughts with other forum users. Although the Forum is regularly moderated by the GamCare Team, and you'll find we contribute and reply to many messages, it is designed first and foremost for you to come together with other people in similar situations, working through similar problems. You might find it helpful to read through other people’s posts or you might like to post your own thread there and receive support from other members of the community.
GamCare runs chatrooms daily which are advertised in the chatroom section of the forum. Moderated by GamCare staff, these provide an opportunity to get live support from other members of our community.
The adviser can also put you in touch with a local GamCare face-to-face counsellor or signpost you to other services in your area such as Gamblers Anonymous meetings.
Specialist help agencies can assist clients to deal with practical issues, such as debt and money management, physical and psychological symptoms, legal issues, housing issues, isolation and social contact issues, family issues such as relationships and Domestic Abuse, issues affecting children and young people, issues affecting vulnerable people including safeguarding, BME and faith issues.
For a list of other services available, please see our Links page.
How do I stay positive?
Keep in mind, you can’t change the past, but you do have a really big say in what happens in the future. Make notes of what has, and hasn’t worked in the past, learn from it, and slowly move forward. Now you want change, for you, change can happen. This will not happen overnight, but with your hard work, and commitment, for change, in time, you will notice the difference.
Some people find it helpful to keep a short statement with them of why they have decided to stop, or a list of their goals for recovery. Remembering why you are making changes is key.
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